The ego hides.
When you become the observer of your thoughts as separate from you, as a happening, you will no longer find your ego there; you’ll then need to observe yourself trying to observe it in order to really find it. The greatest ego trip is the pursuit of being without ego, where the best mystics say to themself proudly, “I’m not better than anybody else,” while the worst of them are saying, “I’m better than everybody else, just look at how much I’ve Served them”. The real gnosis is that the mystic is as insignificant as a farmer, and will never be anything more than what they are, and what they make themself out to be.
To ask oneself, why am I spiritual, why am I seeking truth, what purpose does it serve. Well it serves no purpose, and provides no real value, just be spiritual, just see truth. We cannot get behind ourselves by asking ourselves to give us a boost over its walls. No one needs a mystic, they need transformation themselves, and they flock to holy men and women to determine how to do it. Well to say that attaining freedom can be done by any act of ‘doing’ misses the point. You have to not do anything, for doing something as a person born in this culture requires engagement with the ego. And the name of the game is disengagement. Some folks might take this to mean that these notions conflict with pagan ideals of sensuality and enjoyment of the senses, however we’re not trying to live in the mystic state. So we eat, we drink, we enjoy, but for certain devotional practices, in order to get behind ourselves, our ego, and our personal identity, we must detach and disengage.
The proper way to do this is the most simple task, that it will be overlooked, ignored, criticized before being tested, and put off. At worst it will be misunderstood therefore I would rather you get it and have it in your mind even if you do nothing with it for twenty years; should you even pass it on in conversation rather than it be misunderstood to time.
The methodology is simple, the work is hard. Focus on your focus. It really is that simple. In breath exercises, you focus on the breathing, and it is easy to trance out with practice and get lost and forget yourself. However, the point to polytheist mysticism is to cease trying to be the folks we think we are, and instead to let our expressions flow forth from our inner being. In this way, we can become the people we were potentialed to be by the Ancestors and Land Goddesses upon which we all were born, conceived, and ate from. To achieve these goals, we focus on our breathing, thoughts, and whatever occurs altogether to our psyches as a happening to us, rather than a part of our being. Then we also watch the thing doing the watching. This practice gets us in touch with the kernel observer, the core spirit, which is you, which was born at the beginning of creation of the Cosmos.
People who feel guilty about vanity, for instance, will never cease being vain through any process of thinking about vanity. This is because thinking positively or negatively about such a thing strengthens the neural networks associated with a larger ego. So when you’re cruising down the street and hear Carly Simon’s song, thinking its about people like you, just watch the mental faculty which is doing that thought. Watch it as an external thing that isn’t the core spirit. Shining light of awareness upon the ego diminishes it. A diminished ego allows spirit communication from the otherworld. It is no surprise that a small, clear, and open mind can pinpoint messages, visions, and gnosis from the gods and otherworld. Remember that hearing the spirits and the gods is not fun, so why would you want to do it? I was brought to it by my pre-mystic-state self and romantic notions. Now I have a couple of gods in my head. Coming from an atheist skeptic position toward a full-circle completion of devotional theist, this all seems crazy to me still. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it. Ian Corrigan says that becoming a prophet is no easy task. I feel like I’m in plato’s allegory of the cave and will never be able to correctly communicate what we even are as beings, yet I see it so clearly. It’s as if I’m walking through the forest and I can see the roots under the ground or the surface upon which things play, both the roots of my mind, and others.
You cannot seek the shadow self in order to battle and conquer it, because when you seek with ego, the shadow is always behind you. Go ahead and hold a lamp up to the front of you, your shadow will always flee. The problem of not seeing it is that it is already right here, obscured by the notion that the shadow need be sought. You must draw it in, and to do that, you must remove the bull in front of the gate.
To go into the Otherworld, one must verily drop everything and become an outsider to oneself, and realize there’s no purpose behind it, other than to remember what you’ve already forgotten when you came into this world. You’ve never learned a bit of true wisdom on how to do this that you didn’t already have access to.
Enlightenment and mysticism is less about learning to contract certain muscles or mental faculties, and more about learning to relax secret muscles you didn’t even know you had.
And so the only real reason to do it is that you want to be a better person for others, to help your community, and it is within you to be more lowly than the person who is proud to be the lowest. Work is work, but this work is holy and sacred and not easy.
Ego and Pagan Events
I don’t seek to be popular, just expressive of the inner into the outer, like a flame who must. So this next section will not be popular. If you have bad feels from it, you have a chance to do the exercises above, instead of being a reaction, watch your reaction. Turn on your inner curiosity and follow the roots to their water source. You may just slip into the mystic state. I’ve never had a life changing, fireworks style, mystic experience when I’m cozy or feeling chilled out. If my view of you is skewed
Everyone has an ego, and most people are entrenched in it. It’s not a punch downward or a jab to say this, just an exploration of our worldview. So at pagan events, I evaluate folks by their behavior and what people are seeking. I like to get intoxicated on mead and run around the circle asking what matters most in life to people so we can toast to it. This exercise reveals critical data to me needed to form bonds with and create meaningful relationships with people. Most of the time, egos are a healthy size. This expresses itself as a crowd where each person is concerned with all the others having a good time. In my personal congregation, HearthStone Grove, ADF, our Grovie gatherings are like this.
I don’t have to convince anyone that a bit of the roots are visible on the surface, and so I feel one can make a good guess as to what the roots look like by their surface activity. And at best, we can narrow down true intentions to a level where regular accurate predictions about them is feasible. There are true, covert, and intentions that you’re subconsciously unaware of which express themselves as behavior that most of the group can see or at least feel.
I generally don’t think like this about regular folk, only those who seek leadership and have the potential to do damage to communities, demand worship, or tend to reduce participation. I try to analyse these things in order to increase the work or better serve my local community. These are also questions I regularly ponder for myself. A true leader can visit and revisit any difficult private question without a strong emotional response, this is because they’ve done the work.
Generally questionable leaders will have a higher ratio of plugging something that benefits them personally over serving the people. They’ll also demand attention in a way which sets them apart from others, and this will also have a high ‘focus on me’ to actual people service ratio. I see a few people who are nothing but a presentation orchestrated by their ego and what they think they are based on their own sensibilities, or bards who don’t connect to the audience well and focus their attention on how they are reacting to their own performance. Another thing I’ve noticed is giving warning that something spiritually crazy might happen and then sure enough, it happens. These types of people are readily capable of judging you before collecting the necessary amount of data required to make a fair judgement. They unknowingly live in a world of their judgements thinking it is the real one, comfortably imprisoned by it, all the while toting they talk to and are possessed by the gods. But how many people are they offering to serve with these super powers? Why hoard it?